DPM & FM Demeke Calls for altering African Statistics System to Assist Development Plans

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Addis Ababa October 24/2022 (ENA) Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Demeke Mekonnen called for modernizing and transforming the African Statistics ecosystem to support effective decision-making for development plans at national, regional, and global levels.

Addressing the joint opening session of back-to-back meetings taking place this week in Addis Ababa as part of the eighth Statistical Commission for Africa (STATCOM), Demeke underlined that official statistical data play a crucial role in aiding policy makers and other decision makers to achieve sustainable development.

He stressed the need for “comprehensive tools that can enable governments to create and execute the policies required to achieve the digital goals needed for regional integration as efficiently as possible.”

“I am confident that these meetings will produce agreed upon recommendations and solutions to strengthen the African national statistical system in order to produce high quality data for monitoring the development plans of their respective countries, agenda 2063 and 2030 agenda for sustainable development,” Demeke said.

According to him, much of Africa’s key successes in reforming and modernizing national statistical systems have been attributable to non-traditional abilities such as statistical leadership, political engagement, inventiveness and communications.

“Most African countries have had some success in reforming and updating government stats to meet the needs of national development including but not limited to the use of digital technology,” he said, adding that “Nevertheless, resulting from both demand and supply side constraints, countries continue to face common transformation and modernizing challenges. This includes, among others, data ecosystems, which are increasingly offering opportunities, fostering the usage of digital data and technology for developments in the continent.”

“Africa relies on you to effectively update and transform the continental data environment,” Demeke pointed out referring to the gathered statisticians.

He further added  “ African governments should play in altering and enhancing national statistics systems by setting a budget that is both adequate and sustainable.”

The deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister also expressed his government’s commitment to further support the efforts of the Ethiopian statistics system to deliver accurate and timely data for planning and decision making based on evidence.

In a keynote address at the Eighth Session of the Statistical Commission for Africa, Chris Baryomunsi, Uganda Minister for ICT and National Guidance stressed “the need to develop agile statistical systems that are resilient to crises such as COVID – which heavily impacted statistical production and National Statistical Systems.”

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He emphasized the need to improve administrative data and civil registration systems which together account for up to 70 percent of the data required to monitor national development processes.

Organized under the theme: “Modernizing data ecosystem in Africa to support regional integration”, the Eighth Statistical Commission for Africa seeks to strengthen the inter-related natural linkages between data, statistics and civil registration.

The Statistical Commission for Africa is the highest decision-making body in Africa responsible for setting statistical standards, developing concepts and methods and implementing them at the national, sub-regional and continental levels.

The meeting provides an opportunity for participants to discuss the link between African and global statistical systems to ensure that Africa is not left behind in global statistical initiatives.

Participants will also be able to discuss progress and statistical development in African statistical systems. Furthermore, the meeting will serve as a platform for international partners to meet representatives of member States of the Economic Commission for Africa to discuss the needs of those member States.

The United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management for Africa was established to coordinate African geospatial development and to contribute to the wider global initiative.

Over the past decade, it has adopted realistic approaches to ensure that systematic and comprehensive frameworks are put in place, along with related policies, resources and systems to make geospatial information technology easily accessible to decision-makers and the community in a coordinated way.